The Cape

Musical Score By: Bear McCreary

Distributed by: La-La Land Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When The Cape first aired on NBC, I was excited - a show about a caped crusader on prime time network television that wasn’t airing on The WB (now known as The CW).  That hadn’t happened in quite some time and I couldn’t wait to see it.  I watched it faithfully every week until the season finale.  Then, after I was thoroughly invested in the show, they cancelled it…only they didn’t bother to tell anyone.  They just decided to stop airing the show.  The series finale aired online.  I was devastated.  And then I received this soundtrack in the mail - The Cape with music by Bear McCreary - and suddenly, I was happy again.

            The Cape followed the adventures of former police officer Vince Faraday (David Lyons).  Once an honest cop on a corrupt police force, Vince was about to reveal the criminal dealings of billionaire Peter Fleming (James Frain), AKA: Chess, a demented murderer, when the tables were turned.  He found himself framed for murder by Chess, with the help of Vince’s partner, Marty Voyt (Dorian Missick).  Believed to be dead after an explosive manhunt aired on live television, Vince goes undercover.  With the help of Max Milani (Keith David), his bank robbing circus and a cape he owns that possesses some very unusual qualities, Vince becomes the crime fighter known as The Cape.  He is also aided by Orwell (Summer Glau), an investigative blogger and cyber genius who has her own reasons to see Vince cleared and Fleming pay for his crimes against humanity.

            The musical score of The Cape was created by Bear McCreary, an classically trained American composer who is probably best known for his compositions for the Battlestar Galactica television series.  But McCreary hasn’t worked on science fiction series alone.  He has also created musical scores for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Walking Dead, Human Target and Eureka.  McCreary has worked on the musicals scores of movies such as Rest Stop, Wrong Turn and Step Up 3D and has worked on the scores for the video games SOCOM 4 and Dark Void.

            Bear McCreary was the perfect choice to compose the music for this series.  Having grown up loving superheroes like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, The Tick, X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Watchmen and more, McCreary could appreciate just what kind of music would be needed for The Cape.  According to McCreary, “Some of the earliest music I ever wrote was inspired by the brassy fanfares of John Williams’ Superman and Danny Elfman’s Batman.  I always knew I had a superhero score buried in my imagination somewhere, so I was delighted to be brought on board NBC’s retro adventure, The Cape.  In a way, I was already writing the score in the back of my mind, before I even watched the pilot.

            Thus, the theme for The Cape was filled with fanfare.  The minute I heard the theme when it aired on television, I knew this was a series about a superhero.  Sweeping orchestral music interspersed with…Hmmmmm hmm, hm hm hm hmmmmm hmmmm…eleven perfect notes that give The Cape that heroic flare.  Another striking theme is that of the Carnival of Crime.  A traveling band of gypsies, it is only fitting that McCreary used instruments from gypsy and other Eastern European music such as the hurdy gurdy, the hammered dulcimer, tambourines, accordions and small percussion, offering up a perfect exotic air.

            The Cape Soundtrack is a two-CD set.  The music from the various episodes are dispersed throughout the set in no real set order and yet something about the way these tracks are arranged seems just right.  The first disc introduces the themes and offers up a lot of the action sequences in the series.  The second disc begins with Let’s Just Pretend, a sad sort of love song with music and lyrics by Brendan McCreary, performed by Young Beautiful in a Hurry.  This is followed by the more somber moments in the series…the darker side of The Cape.  By track seventeen on this disc, we are treated to bonus tracks from various episodes.

            Featuring  over two hours of music from the series, The Cape Soundtrack was released on September 27, 2011 as a limited collector’s edition set with only 2000 units available.  Fans of this series will be thrilled with this soundtrack as will fans of Bear McCreary’s work.  I’m so happy I was able to get my hands on this soundtrack.  Now I can relive my favorite moments of the series through this musical collection.


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